Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bacolod City: The Work and Play Experience

Just like a kid, I love to capture God's wonderful creation. Looking at the sky, it was full of clouds, pure and white as cotton balls. Amazing! Shot like a pro! 

The City of Smiles- I had been to Bacolod City way back 2009 during one of the city department heads’ benchmarking activity. And I was given the opportunity again to go back to this city, this time with the proactive men and women of the Bataan ICT Development Council, together with the man behind the economic progress of the Province of Bataan, Governor Abet Garcia.  

The idea of visiting topnotch ICT councils like the Bacolod ICT council, or BNeFIT, is very relevant to Bataan ICT Development Council (BICTDC) as it can learn a lot from BNeFIT’s experiences. Since BICTDC aspires to put Bataan on the map to be among the best IT/BPM destinations in the country, such a goal can only be achieved with a strong, innovative and active council. 

Atty Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, the previous NICP Chairman and President of BNeFIT discussing how IT-BPM Industry craze started in Bacolod City on 2006. 
Bataan ICT Council Executive Committee Members with Bataan Governor Abet Garcia during welcome dinner with Bacolod Governor Alfredo G. Maranon at Enting's Restaurant, known for its local cuisine and exotic foods.

First BPO visit is at TRANSCOM, one of the leading outsourcing companies in Bacolod City. We were all so tired here as we had had no time to rest yet. BPO’s operate mostly in the evening so we had to observe the culture and operation of a call centre at that time of day.

Hand-over of tokens of appreciation by Governor Abet to Bacolod Mayor Monico O. Puentevella for a warm and generous welcome to our delegates.
This mask posted on the wall of the City Mayor's Office of Bacolod was used during the 115th Philippine Independence Day Commemoration held in New York, which won for the city the Bacolod Masskara New York Edition.
Welcome lunch by Mayor Puentevella for the group. Sumptuous seafoods again! 

  BagoSphere is a social enterprise founded to tackle rising youth unemployment in the world.
NOLITC-The Negros Occidental Language & Information Technology Center is a government initiative for talent development. We hope to establish this kind of training centre in Bataan for competitive advantage.

Souvenir photo at Bacolod's famous tourist landmark "The Ruins"!
From L-R: The three lovely and empowered women of Bataan--- the Provincial Directors of TESDA, DTI and DOST. It’s an honour to work with them!

My handsome and generous, yet equally moody photo bomber! hahaha (lagot!) :-) I have so much to learn from this man especially on the economic progress and development of the Province of Bataan. I go nuts whenever he is around discussing his bold dreams for our province. His brain overflows with so many ideas and investment strategies! I can't keep it all in just one sitting! Brain fatigue!! :-)
So he needs to relax and so do we! :-) 
So it’s trekking time for the not-so-young ladies. Ready your muscles! Hahaha

Dinner at one of the known fine dining restaurants of Bacolod City, 21 Restaurant. This coincided with the birthday celebration of one of our companions.
Breakfast at Bob’s Restaurant. Here food is so delicious, more so the pastries. This three- day vacation dented my 10-day wellness program. I can’t help but cheat. I gained weight :-( 

We take our late lunch at Pendy’s Snack Bar and Restaurant. There food is so delicious! 
Look at their famous napoleon’s sweets! Carbo overload! Argh!

What excited me about this trip is the fact that I still have so many things to learn about the economic development and investment opportunity of my own province. I live in Bataan, yet I am still unaware of all the potential business opportunities that my province can offer to potential investors and how our citizens can benefit from it. As a leader, we just have to dig all the possible resources that we could use for the continued progress of the province. I can extend a helping hand as I was given the chance to serve the public. Why am I getting interested to learn more about economy? Hhhmm.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Star Virgo Cruise: A World-Class Vacation

Since I am on a hype to highlight the city department heads’ previous study tour in Davao City, I can’t help but reminisce the time when we went on a cruise in 2011, a treat by our generous Santa Claus to his hardworking elves. 

We consider this as the best gift ever that we had received from him, as we haven’t known any other agency in the country that can surpass this remarkable gift of appreciation and reward of its Chief Executive to its Department Heads. Modesty aside, it is not impossible because our known Santa Claus belongs to a family who has a generous heart for their people, more so to officers like us who, in some way or another, are the people whom they count on and trust in implementing various programs and projects for the welfare of their constituents.   

We are the happiest and most excited group of officers that time as we had the chance to temporarily park our pen and roll up our sleeves for some recreation and leisure.  Let’s start to rock the giant ship with this group of wacky department heads and city consultants!

Of course in any travel, passenger safety is their first and major concern. So they gave us a short briefing on what to do in case of emergency. I told myself there are no good swimmers when disasters occur, so I have to make sure that I know all the possible exit points of the ship. However, I think it’s better if I find the ship captain’s room so I can exit carefully in case the ship sinks! Lol 

The food was over flowing as the ship was loaded with plenty of delicious foods to eat---  from main course to desserts and pastries. Eat all you can! Look at my plates here. Do I look hungry?? Lol 

And with these kinds of food in our 3-day cruise; we gained weight so we decided to take some muscle stretching for some weight loss. 

I love this shot, so candid..thank you Mr. Photographer! :-)

Party all night as we had the chance to sing and dance along with the famous group of band singers in our country, The Company! Actually we didn’t know that we were all boarding the same ship as we bumped with them while we were departing at NAIA airport in the Philippines. 

Look on how proud the crew members here while waving for our Philippine flag from the right side. For the information of my readers, big percentage of the crew members of this cruise ship  are mostly dominated by Filipino nationality. They are world-class and talented Overseas Filipino Workers OFW! My salute to you guys! So am proud pinay! :-) 

On the last night of our stay, we experienced the exquisite Cruise Gala Night together with all the staff and crew of Star Virgo Cruise. We were all dressed with in fancy clothes.  We looked like stockholders of a multi-million company in the Philippines! We felt so proud of our party outfit! hahaha  

This is one of the best moments we have shared with one another as we were given the chance to forget for a while the pressures and stresses brought about by our work. As we go back to our respective offices in the following week, we are more motivated to work and go beyond our office mandate. The end goal of this blog is to encourage more of the young future leaders around the world reading this blog to strive and become more committed to work while in government service or in the  corporate world. Who knows in your own time, perhaps you will be the next in line to experience these kinds of precious gifts from organizations where you belong. To all my kuya’s and ate’s, thank you for sharing with me this wonderful experience. And most especially to the man behind all this and who made this thing possible, our profound gratitude!